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Cardiff man celebrated for helping babies in need.

After making an “incredible” 800 donations, platelet donor Keith Orford is being praised by the Welsh Blood Service.

The 63-year-old from Cardiff has been a blood donor since the 1980s and became a platelet donor in 1989. He now joins only a handful of donors who have reached the milestone, thanks to over three decades of commitment and dedication to helping others.

 

"I became a donor because I felt like it was something I could do to help someone less fortunate than myself. When I found out I could donate platelets specifically used for babies who are seriously ill, it only strengthened my commitment to donate regularly."

Keith Orford

 

“I donate once a month, but it’s no problem whatsoever and I feel like it’s so vitally important.

“There’s nothing to donating, it’s only an hour out of your time which is nothing compared to why it is needed.

“My aspiration for the future is to reach the magic 1,000 platelet donation milestone.

“Please, if you can, sign up for the Welsh Blood Service, come forward and donate.”

Platelets are found within the bloodstream and can be collected either through pooling together four matching whole blood donations or through a process called apheresis.

Apheresis donations like Keith’s are collected at Welsh Blood Service headquarters in Talbot Green. Blood is taken from a donor and transferred through a specialist machine which separates the platelets before safely returning the blood’s red cells to the donor. This process enables more frequent donations compared to regular whole blood donations.

"Platelets are needed daily across Wales and have many uses including treating patients with certain types of cancer such as leukaemia. They can also be used treat patients in emergency care as well as premature and newborn babies."

Welsh Blood Service Director Alan Prosser

Welsh Blood Service Director Alan Prosser said, “To reach 800 donations is an incredible achievement which takes many years of commitment and approximately 400 hours in a donation chair to help someone in need.”

The Welsh Blood Service supports 20 hospitals across the country and relies on donations from blood, platelet and bone marrow donors to support patients in need.

Alan continued, “Platelets are needed daily across Wales and have many uses including treating patients with certain types of cancer such as leukaemia. They can also be used treat patients in emergency care as well as premature and newborn babies.

“On behalf of the many patients who have benefitted from Keith’s donations, I would like to say a huge thank you. Keith and other donors like him provide a much-needed lifeline for these people to help them recover from their illness or treatment. Their commitment and dedication to helping others is truly inspirational and we hope others will consider following in their footsteps.”

 

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